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Can we have it all? The quest for quality, cost and speed in Biopharma

By Al Doig and Tom Ransohoff

At BIO next week in Philadelphia a panel of experienced biotech executives will tackle this question. There are important drivers in our industry for improving cost, quality, and speed. Until now, conventional wisdom said you could choose two of the three. Today, we are asked to deliver on all three areas simultaneously with no likely trump card in the deck. The need for speed is the upshot of breakthrough therapies, the boom in biosimilar interest and new discovery opportunities. The focus on Quality by Design (QbD) requires a deeper understanding of our processes then ever before. Finally, competition from biosimilars and healthcare cost controls are forcing us to focus on reducing our cost of goods sold (COGS) and development costs.

The panel at BIO will explore the options and opportunities likely to assist in meeting the challenges. Operational excellence initiatives and related efforts, such as advancements in platform processes, can help improve performance, but truly novel approaches and the introduction of new technologies will be critical to meaningful progress. The implementation of new technologies, such as continuous processing, process analytical technologies, and novel facilities concepts will be a focus for the discussion. Novel approaches to critical operational areas such as supply-chain management will also be party of the discussion.

The panel chaired by Tom Ransohoff, BPTC and four other biopharma veterans: Joanne Beck, Shire; Parish Galliher, GE Healthcare; Lynne Frick, Pall and Mark Brower, Merck, will convene in the BPI Theater at BIO (Booth #3207 in the BioProcess Zone) at 12:00PM on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (not Thursday, June 18 as previously indicated and published in the May issue of BPI). This discussion, of course, takes place within an industrial context in which innovation or even incremental change is a high-risk game. Sign up for our RSS feed to follow this discussion in a follow-on blog from BPTC summarizing the panel’s thoughts and suggestions and if you’ll be in Philly don’t forget to visit BPTC at booth #3230 to share your experiences. We look forward to lots of comments and discussion.